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Poles Apart
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Poles Apart

by Jeanne Willis, Jarvis (Illustrator)
 

"Succeeds on multiple levels. Younger listeners will appreciate the quest-for-home adventure format, while older kids and adults will be drawn to the sly humor infused into every page." — Booklist

Everybody knows that penguins live at the South Pole and polar bears live at the North Pole—but what would happen if, one day, a

Overview

"Succeeds on multiple levels. Younger listeners will appreciate the quest-for-home adventure format, while older kids and adults will be drawn to the sly humor infused into every page." — Booklist

Everybody knows that penguins live at the South Pole and polar bears live at the North Pole—but what would happen if, one day, a family of picnicking penguins accidentally got lost? When the hapless Pilchard-Brown family find themselves at the wrong pole, they need Mr. White, a friendly polar bear, to guide them all the way home.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
09/19/2016
The Pilchard-Browns, a family of penguins, get quite lost on their way to a picnic. Drifting along on an iceberg, they reach the North Pole, where an “enormous something” wearing a bowler hat offers to lead them home. “I have often dreamed of being the first polar bear to reach the South Pole,” Mr. White tells them. The animals’ journey takes them to the U.S., England, Italy, India, and Australia, where they enjoy local attractions before continuing on their way (“Australia was bonzer but it still wasn’t home”). Willis’s (Slug Needs a Hug!) drily funny text is sprinkled with the penguins’ alliterative observations at each stop (Peeky and Poots assess London as “Gray!” and “Grand!”), as well as Pog’s impatient plea, “Now can we have our picnic?” Featuring an array of bold hues, Jarvis’s (Fred Forgets) whimsical digital artwork shows the energetic penguins riding the rails of a Venetian gondola, waterskiing in Sydney, and bonding with their polar bear guide. Readers won’t learn much about anywhere the Pilchard-Browns visit, but the pleasures, quirks, and unexpected surprises of travel are evident. Ages 3–7. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
Featuring an array of bold hues, Jarvis’s (Fred Forgets) whimsical digital artwork shows the energetic penguins riding the rails of a Venetian gondola, waterskiing in Sydney, and bonding with their polar bear guide. Readers won’t learn much about anywhere the Pilchard-Browns visit, but the pleasures, quirks, and unexpected surprises of travel are evident.
—Publishers Weekly

A cheery introduction to a few major cultures across the globe, with both poles as anchors.
—Kirkus Reviews

Willis’ simple story succeeds on multiple levels. Younger listeners will appreciate the quest-for-home adventure format, while older kids and adults will be drawn to the sly humor infused into every page...This makes good choice for one-on-one sharing; allow plenty of time to peruse the art.
—Booklist Online

Comical, quirky dialogue makes for a splendid read-aloud, and the delightful, richly textured illustrations fizz with silly details, from a flailing gondolier in Venice to a dog in a red London telephone booth.
—Shelf Awareness

Jarvis’ art has charm in spades, and kids will love following the various facial expressions of the penguin family members…this is a spirit and exuberant tale of making friends and finding home.
—USA Today

Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
The Pilchard-Browns, a family of penguins, board an iceberg and head out for a picnic. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), Mr. Pilchard-Brown is lousy at map reading. He calls for a right turn instead of a left turn causing the iceberg to float unimpeded the 12,430 miles from the South Pole to the North Pole. Mr. White, a friendly polar bear, greets them. He is curious about the South Pole and offers to guide the penguin family home. They travel over land and sea, making stops in various countries along the way. They walk through a busy city in the U.S., they ride a double-decker bus in England, they climb aboard a gondola in Italy, they are dazzled by the Taj Mahal in India, and they adventure in a speed boat in Australia. When they finally reach the North Pole, the penguins invite Mr. White to stay, but he declines and returns to the North Pole. He discovers his red cap that he had lost on the way and finds a surprise inside. This brings the penguins back for a visit. Whimsical, brightly colored illustrations aptly depict the growing friendships and the lengthy travels. A fun choice for reading aloud as an introduction to the poles and to polar bears and penguins. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.; Ages 3 to 6.
School Library Journal
11/01/2016
PreS-Gr 1—On the way to a picnic, Mr. Pilchard-Brown misreads the map and leads his penguin family to the North Pole by mistake. Fortunately, Mr. White, a friendly polar bear, comes to help. "Don't think of it as a mistake. Think of it as the start of a big adventure. Maybe I could help you find your way home. I have often dreamed of being the first polar bear to reach the South Pole." Mr. White proves an able travel guide. In the United States, Mr. and Mrs. Pilchard-Brown walk down the street holding flippers while Mr. White gives their three young penguins a ride in a shopping bag through the city. The adventure continues on a double-decker bus in England, a gondola ride in Italy, a trek through India, and a speed boat ride in Australia. This silly tale is not a geography lesson on the best route to travel the 12,430 miles between the North and South Poles. It's a story about friendship and enjoying the journey of life. It is bittersweet when the penguins finally make it back home, since they have to part ways with Mr. White. But it's not quite over yet. Back at home, Mr. White learns that a penguin chick has hatched in his hat. The penguins realize this, too, and return for the chick and to finally have their picnic. Jarvis's bright and colorful cartoon illustrations add enormously to the narrative's charm. VERDICT This selection about friendship and making mistakes is a fun read-aloud and will likely find an audience in libraries everywhere.—Robin Sofge, Alexandria Library, VA
Kirkus Review
2016-08-02
Taking a wrong turn on the way to a picnic results in a grand world tour in this tale of penguins who find themselves at the North Pole.The British tradition of the “right to roam” takes center stage as the Pilchard-Browns, a family of penguins, drift quite far from their home in the South Pole. Luckily, Mr. White, an enormous, furry, white polar bear, knows they are 12,430 miles north and offers to take them home. Apparently walking most of the way, this band of travelers wanders through the United States, England, Italy, India, and Australia, with the little ones chirping in each local dialect while seeing each country’s major landmarks. The illustrations are captivating, offering a colorful bounty of people, places, and things. The penguin parents and Mr. White are depicted with British reserve and determination as they just keep walking south. The penguin children, however, provide comic relief in their dialogue and their curiosity about new cultures. The story’s ending has a hiccup that may cause a “Wait, what?” reaction, but turning back a few pages allows readers to fully enjoy the clever details and richly saturated colors of the illustrations. A cheery introduction to a few major cultures across the globe, with both poles as anchors. (Picture book. 3-7)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763689445
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
11/01/2016
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
232,065
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 11.60(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Jeanne Willis wrote her first book when she was five—a slim volume about cats written in pencil and stitched together so that it looked like a "real" book. After that, there was no turning back. She had her first picture book published at the age of twenty-one. She has since written more than three hundred books and has won several awards, which are arranged in the attic where she works. She lives in London.

Jarvis did lots of different jobs—including a bingo caller, a bouncy-castle painter, and an animation director—before creating his first children’s book. He’s always doodled characters and thinks that everything he’s done in the past has helped make him a better children’s book illustrator and writer . . . maybe not the bingo calling. He lives in northern England.

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